In the photographer’s studio

Pin-up photography, fashionable in the 1940s and 50s, evolved into modern glamor and erotic photography. But in recent years pin-up has come back into favor as a distinct genre, which is identifiable for being ‘retro’ in all senses except for photographic technique. The style and the way the model presents herself will have more of the 1950s about it than the 21st century: she will likely wear stockings and garter belt rather than pantyhose, full panties rather than a thong.

Many pin-up shots don’t just present the girl’s curves – they put her into a situation. Often it’s a mildly calamitous or embarrassing one, like burning the dinner or finding her skirt blowing up in the street, but it’s generally presented as part of the normal everyday life of a normal young woman. As with the use of a period look and clothing, the situations will ‘quote’ that era’s view of women’s place in the world, with a mildly humorous or ironic emphasis on domestic scenarios. And if from time to time the photographer should introduce a second figure into the photograph, particularly if it’s meant to be her boyfriend or husband, then the everyday calamity might just be something we’d like to see…

Some photographers specialize in the pin-up genre, and we’ll encounter some of them later in this series. One who doesn’t, but who recently decided to experiment with it, is Montreal-based Simon Laroche. He had seen the pin-up website suicidegirls and was thinking about the genre with modern eyes and attitudes, as a vehicle for women’s self-assertion rather than a vehicle for their subjection and objectification. He wanted to shoot a series of pin-ups showing the women in charge of the process: ‘I thought that it would be more interesting to do something tasteful where the curves of a women would be celebrated. Like it or not, pin-ups are voluptuous and with that in mind and from a man’s perspective, you can really create some powerful images. Attitude, curves, sensuality, all while remaining classy. I’m not looking for anything vulgar but instead creating a sensual, healthy ambiance.’ So he hired six models and a retro-styled loft atop a Montreal biscuit shop, and arranged a 6-hour shoot on November 17, 2013.

The first model to be photographed was Caprice deLuxe.

Simon Laroche (00)Simon Laroche (01)

She’s a burlesque performer as well as a model, and also goes by the name of André-Anne leBlanc. She arrived with her hair still in curlers…

Simon Laroche (02)

… but that was part of the setup for the first segment of the shoot, in which she played a bored housewife who hasn’t got dressed yet.

Simon Laroche (02a)Simon Laroche (02b)

What she needs is … something more interesting to read than a cookbook.

Simon Laroche (02c)

Shocking? Or intriguing?

Simon Laroche (03)

But here they hit a minor snag. Apparently Simon hadn’t planned for the shoot to go this way, because he hadn’t hired a male model to play hubby. Luckily the owner of the loft, Patrick Foisy, was present. Would he mind lending a hand?

Simon Laroche (04)

So the bored housewife gets what she wanted…

Simon Laroche (04a)

… though it looks as if she may think it’s a little more than she bargained for!

Simon Laroche (04b)

Applause, please, for Patrick Foisy and Caprice deLuxe!

Simon Laroche (04bb)

If you are interested in Simon Laroche’s work, please visit his website.

Simon Laroche (04c)

Seeing More of Miss Vanessi

Once upon a time, Kiss Me Kate spankings tended to look like this, if they were any good:

Skirt Down

And many of them still do. But some are starting to look more like this:

2012

It’s interesting to look at the history of Kiss Me Kate and see just how far back this tendency goes. Raised skirt scenes are still in the minority among productions, though there are more than you might think. So I’ve been taking a look through my KMK collection to see how they stack up, and to post some examples.

Disclaimer: a few of these shots will be new to the online spanking community, but many will already be familiar; some of them I found independently, but some of them I ‘found’ because someone else had found them already. Kudos to all concerned. On the other hand, some that you may well have seen before are presented here in higher quality than has been hitherto available.

Second disclaimer: this is all about Kiss Me Kate and not The Taming of the Shrew – an important distinction because one has a spanking scene written into the script and the other only as a stage tradition. As it happens I do also know of two raised skirt Shrew spankings, plus one set in the 1960s where the miniskirted Kate’s pink panties were sometimes visible as she was spanked. But they are not my concern here…

I would say there are three distinct categories of raised skirt scene. The first is where the skirt is raised and the spanking is administered on a petticoat or underskirt. I have seven examples of this, and it is the method with the longest history in KMK productions: it was introduced in the musical’s original production in Sweden back in 1951.

Petticoat 1 Sweden 1951

I have to say it’s not an approach I really understand, and I don’t think that’s only because I would prefer to see some panties. Practically speaking, it must be a lot more difficult to separate the different layers of skirt than to whisk the whole lot up in one go. And surely it’s counterintuitive to raise Lilli’s skirt to spank her if you’re then going to administer the spanking on, in effect, another skirt.

Petticoat 2

But at least the outcome is still humiliating, with some pleasing panic in these examples!

Petticoat 3

My second category is where the skirt and petticoats are raised and the spanking is administered on period bloomers. The earliest case I’ve seen is in the artwork on the cover of a playbill from Salt City Playhouse, Syracuse NY, from 1970:

KMK 1970 Salt City

I don’t know whether the Salt City Lilli, Cynthia Lake, got spanked with her skirt up in the production itself: the picture is attractive but it’s also stylized, so it doesn’t necessarily represent a true ‘moment’ in the show. Bloomers spankings seem to have really got started with the 1999 Michael Blakemore revival, with first Marin Mazzie as Lilli…

Mazzie portMazzie 1

… followed by Carolee Carmello …

Carmello prt

CarmelloCarmello2

… and lastly the – for my taste – very much nicer Rachel York:

Rachel York portRachel York

However, it’s worth adding that even then the touring version of the show, with Emily Herring as Lilli, left her skirt down, presumably to avoid outraging the more conservative towns on the itinerary.

Emily HerringTouring

I’ve got 40 KMK ‘bloomers’ spankings on file: they are by far the most common type where the skirt is raised. Some of them are very appealing:

Bloomers White 1aBloomers White 2Bloomers White 3Bloomers white 4Bloomers White 5a

But they can be terribly disappointing if the costume designer’s been lazy, and hasn’t taken the trouble to make a proper undergarment. If it’s a letdown to see a skirt raised for a petticoat spanking, it’s not much better if Lilli is effectively wearing long trousers:

Bloomers Pants 1

But long pantalets can still be quite sexy if they’re obviously underwear:

Bloomers Long

And a good pose and good acting will always make up for deficiencies in the cut of the garment:

Good pose poor cut

You can make Lilli’s bloomers tight:

Bloomers White TightBloomers white tight 2

You can make them short:

Bloomers Short

You can make them different colors:

Bloomers PinkBloomers patternBloomers Red 1Bloomers Red 2

(I’ve seen black as well as pink and red, but the photos aren’t as good.)

Theatrically speaking, there are pros and cons to doing the scene with the skirt raised. The actress playing Lilli may not appreciate it if the opportunity for her to act during the spanking is limited to her bottom half:

Hazard

On the other hand, it may give her something to be glad of. Look at this picture of a recent KMK spanking:

Padding

The point of a skirt-up spanking is to reduce the number of layers through which the spanking is administered, but here the Fred/Petruchio actor has lifted Lilli’s skirt and petticoats so that they bunch up around the actress’s bottom, giving her additional layers of protection and so enabling him to spank her more vigorously without hurting her (much). Fair enough from an acting point of view (let’s not have any pseudo-moralizing to the effect that actresses should be willing to be spanked for real in such scenes), but a bit disappointing for those who like to see actual hand to bloomer contact…

… but with that in mind, the best thing about a raised skirt spanking on bloomers like this one…

Performance

… is imagining what happened to the actress in rehearsals when certain parts of her costume weren’t yet ready…

Rehearsal 1Rehearsal 2

And that brings me to my third category. Lilli Vanessi, the character in the play, is herself an actress. And whatever period costume an actress may wear in any production, underneath it she is going to be wearing her own modern underwear. Here’s Lilli, just spanked, in bloomers…

Lilli Underwear

… but, if you look carefully, wearing modern white panties, garter belt and stockings underneath.

To reinforce the point, here’s the cast of a 2006 production:

bloomers 2006

Beware the hand!

I repeat: whatever an actress will be wearing as her stage costume, she will have her own modern underwear beneath it.

Dressing room

And the bloomers that are so often revealed in KMK spanking scenes are part of Lilli’s stage costume: they are Kate’s bloomers, not Lilli’s, so they are expected to be seen during the show anyway. But not all KMK costumes include period underwear:

Underwear 1Underwear 2underwear 3

So the third category is when Lilli’s skirt is raised and she is spanked on her own contemporary panties – the ultimate humiliation, at least within the bounds of mainstream!

This is the rarest type of raised skirt spanking, but it goes back a long way, as far as the publicity artwork for the 1953 movie. This was interestingly varied for the different territories. The US and Britain got the most familiar version…

kiss_me_kate_logo

… which is still used by lazy or less imaginative amateur companies in promoting their own productions today.

PublicityPublicity amateur

But in Belgium, Lilli’s skirt is raised and she is spanked on a diaphanous petticoat with black panties underneath:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

No petticoat in France and Italy, which were loose red panty territories…

French

… whereas Germany and Austria preferred tight white…

German

… and those crazy Mexicans went for tight and red…

Mexico

But it took a very long time for this to transfer to the stage. The 2003 Frankfurt production with Petra Constanza as Lilli offered this publicity shot…

Panties German publicity

… which didn’t reflect what actually happened on stage any more than the racier versions of the 1953 artwork told audiences the truth about the movie.

But by then there had already been a breakthrough by an amateur operatic company in England:

Boyshorts (Shenfield)

That’s the Shenfield Operatic Society in Essex, in their 2002 production. Unfortunately I don’t know who is playing the role of Lilli, but my guess is that they intended to do the revised ‘Blakemore’ version faithfully but tried to make a saving on the costume budget by using modern white ‘boyshort’ panties instead of period bloomers. The same approach was taken by the Haywards Heath Operatic Society, also in Essex, in 2006, except that these were a more girly pair of ‘boyshorts’:

Boyshorts HHOS

That’s Rebecca Dowden’s panties you’ve been looking at, in case you’re wondering. She’s also rather pretty at the other end…

Boyshorts HHOS Rebecca Dowden

But I know of only one KMK production where they followed the logic through completely. It was from Amish Acres, Indiana, where it ran for seven weeks in the fall of 2008, and starred company regular Amber Burgess as Lilli. Here she is with Matthew Sean Callahan as Fred.

Amber with petruchioAmber with Petruchio 2

And here she is in costume for the first act and the all-important ‘fight scene’:

Amber 1Amber 2Amber 3

And since this is Kiss Me Kate, you know what’s going to happen to her:

Amber in danger 1

If they do it properly it won’t be comfortable:

amber in danger 2

But was anybody really expecting to see this?

Panties Amish Acres 2008

Hats off to Amber Burgess for the best ever KMK spanking scene!

What I like about the idea of Lilli being spanked on her own modern bikini panties, apart from the obvious direct appeal to my own preferences, is that it makes the scene more sophisticated. Fred and Lilli both break stage protocol with their behavior in this scene, Lilli by acting up and Fred by spanking her for it: you can be sure they’ll both feature prominently in the stage manager’s daily report!

They are putting on a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew which (unlike KMK itself) doesn’t have a scripted spanking scene, so Fred is putting in business that shouldn’t be there. In most versions of the scene, he does it by using the opportunities that are already there in the play: if they were doing Hedda Gabler it would be a real theatrical sin for the leading man to break out of role and spank the leading lady, but no audience member is going to think twice about it happening in Shrew. But by getting so carried away that he lifts her skirt and breaks the illusion of the period costume by exposing the actress’s modern panties, he puts himself just as far in the wrong professionally as Lilli was to begin with. And that arguably makes the scene more balanced and more dramatically interesting – and so makes Kiss Me Kate a better play. They should do it more often!

In the Photographer’s Studio

This is the start of a new Spank Statement series that will present and celebrate the work of photographers whose portfolios include spanking shots.

When it comes to spanking photography, I’m quite hard to please. Partly, I guess, that’s because a lot of commercially produced spanking material doesn’t hit my particular buttons or simply isn’t very well done. But contrariwise, when it comes to professional photography that might occasionally feature a spanking shot, I’m quite easy to please. Again, that’s partly because a lot of professional camerawork is simply better, artistically and technically, than some of the kink-specific work I’ve seen; and it’s also the case that, paradoxically, many non-spanko photographers have a much better sense of attractive OTK positioning. But there’s more to it than that…

On commercial spanking sites, the spanking itself is the thing they are trying to sell you: it’s the reason you go there. But what I like is the sense of being ‘surprised by mainstream’: the unexpected encounter with a spanking shot in a non-spanko context, a picture that has some connection with real life, in one of its many aspects, rather than something created within and for a self-selecting spanking subculture. The spanking arises from something authentic, not merely because there is a market of spanking enthusiasts to service. So in a sense, part of my kink is for the absence of kink.

The photographers whose work will be shown here are a diverse bunch, some of them specializing in glamor and pinup, some in general fetish work, some in the kind of broad commercial photography that covers weddings and lifestyle; but none of them will be primarily spanking artists. Wherever possible I shall try to say something about the photographer and the models, not only out of respect but also because putting the spanking image into its real-life context will locate it as a piece of mainstream work.

This will be a world tour taking in at least three continents, from Moscow to Seattle, but it begins in Boulogne in the north of France, where photographer François Benveniste currently lives and works.

I could begin by showing you François’ picture, but I think you’d prefer to be introduced to someone prettier. Her name is Mag.

francois benveniste Mag 0francois benveniste Mag 1

She models regularly for François, who specializes in nudes…

francois benveniste Mag 2francois benveniste Mag 3

… so it was a problem when Mag turned up for a shoot on August 7, 2012 having got herself a suntan, complete with tanlines – whereupon François gave her another sort of tanning on the part the sun didn’t reach.

Francois Benveniste never_get_a_sun_tan_if_you_shoot_______by_fb101-d6efzxk

But afterwards, by the looks of it, there wasn’t much else they could do with themselves on that particular shoot:

Francois Benveniste never_get_a_sun_tan_if_you_shoot_______by_fb101-d6efzxk2

This wasn’t the first time François put a model across his knee. Here’s Jordane, on March 31, 2010, getting a dose of what he calls ‘model management’:

Francois Benveniste Jordane S

These photos are nicely posed, well performed and beautifully shot. Who needs specialist spanking erotica when we have mainstream?

If you would like to see more of François Benveniste’s work, please visit his website.

The Slap

A social experiment in a recent Youtube video by Hollywood screenwriter Max Landis calls for 40 young people to meet one another on camera for the first time, and slap each other in the face. The girl participants are all pretty and for the most part nicely dressed, but for us the real interest comes at 02.59 when one of the girls – an actress named Anna Lore – decides to present an alternative target…

I think she rather enjoyed it, don’t you?

The_Slapslap-video

There are several associated videos to be found on Youtube, including one called ‘Point of Impact’ which explains the rationale of the project for those who are interested. For those who only want to see the bottom smacking, though, these two shots in the main video are all there is.

As a bonus, however, here are two more pictures to prove that Anna Lore is exceptionally pretty … from several different angles:

MV5BMjEyNDExMjk4M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDM2Nzg5MDE@__V1_SX640_SY720_Anna Lore

Update: I’ve just found another video in which Anna gets five more. (Well, actually the fifth seems to be another angle on the second one in the original video.) Watch from 0.51:

The Best of the No Pants Subway Ride 2014

The 2014 No Pants Subway Ride took place worldwide six months ago in January. If you haven’t heard of it, the background is described here. It’s one of those rare occasions where nobody involved can honestly look askance at you and ask, ‘Are you staring at my panties?’

Looking 1Looking 2

Of course we’re looking at your panties, dear, that’s the point!

Here are some of the top bottoms from this year’s show.

Panties 1Panties 2Panties 3Panties 4

And here’s an especially nice photo that sums up everything that’s appealing about this event:

Panties 5

No attention seeking, no overt exhibitionism, no bikini bottoms dishonestly pretending to be underwear, just an everyday girl in her everyday clothes who seems to have forgotten her pants and is wandering around in her everyday girly panties.

There was some attention seeking in Brussels, when the Belgian fashion designer Stephanie Anspach hijacked the event to launch her new collection of hand-knitted sweaters. Ten lovely models took the subway in white knee socks and white panties with the name of the collection printed on the seat: ‘Less is Mode’.

Brussels 1Brussels 1aBrussels 2Brussels 2a

They were also wearing sweaters from the range… but I guess not many people were looking that high!

Brussels 3

Meanwhile, back in America, some of the guys are getting masterful:

Carry 1Carry 2

Perhaps mindful of the danger, this gal has spelt things out in the most obvious place:

Hands off

But in contrast…

Hands on

‘Your hand belongs here’ says the seat of her panties. So what are you waiting for, buster?

Introducing Solicitus

Elisabeth SladenI recently invited Harry (aka Solicitus) to become a co-author of the blog and he has accepted. His first post is the one below this, but you will already be familiar with his brilliant contributions on subjects as diverse as FEMEN, theatre spankings and Panties on the Subway!

I know he has lots more exciting Spank Statements in the pipeline which he can now edit and publish himself. So I hope you’ll all welcome him on board.

This new theme I’m using displays the author’s name  at the top of each post. So please remember to check who has written a post before commenting! 

Harry’s gravatar is a picture of former Doctor Who actress Elisabeth Sladen who sadly died in 2011 .

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